Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Chelsea see off Frank Lampard's Derby after chaotic first half

Chelsea forward Eden Hazard Chelsea forward Eden Hazard has scored eight and assisted three in 11 appearances for Chelsea this season
Freda Brock | 01 November, 2018, 05:27

It will be a game, from a technical, tactical and physical point of view, on a higher level than the ones they play in their own league.

Not only that, but the Championship side entered Stamford Bridge under the management of Frank Lampard, who was always going to be pumped up for his return to the club.

Zola sees no reason why Mount and Tomori could not celebrate a Derby goal or victory.

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MF Mateo Kovacic, 6 - It felt like a statement when he shot from 20 yards the first time he got the ball. Playing 106 times in total so far, Chelsea have won 39 to Derby's 38 including eight of the past 10.

The former England global has called time on his playing career and is now leading Derby towards a promotion push in the EFL Championship.

Predicted Derby County XI: Carson; Bogle, Tomori, Keogh, Forsyth; Wilson, Huddlestone; Waghorn, Mount, Lawrence; Nugent. Now he's getting that freedom.

Chelsea are heavy favourites to beat Derby in 90 minutes on Wednesday, but the best bet could be for the Blues to go through while also conceding.

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It will be the Blues' third match in the space of six days, having beaten BATE Borisov and Burnley in the Europa League and Premier League respectively. However, the Blues are confident Hazard will be fit to return against Palace at the weekend.

When the margins are so small at Chelsea right now, individual attributes are key and there's no competing when it comes to goals. It took just five minutes and a woefully misguided swing of Tomori's boot to hammer the message home, as well as set the tone for a wild and at times comically frantic contest.

If this was an audition for Lampard as a future manager at Stamford Bridge, then he can't have done his chances any harm. When it was all over, the abiding sense was of a man who will find himself walking through this particular front door again before too long, to take his place in one dugout or another.

Barkley has scored three and provided three assists in his last three appearances for Chelsea and is already drawing comparisons with Lampard.

Chelsea benefited from two Rams own goals, only for the Championship visitors to equalise on each occasion before Cesc Fabregas' 41st-minute strike proved decisive.

Four goals poured in inside the opening 22 minutes as the sides traded blows.

Chelsea are still unbeaten in domestic competition this season, and despite their potential absentees they will be looking to come through against Derby and move into the quarter final of the competition.

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